Field Placement: Frequently Asked Questions
What is the purpose of placement?
Placement offers students the opportunity to utilize skills and theory learned in class and apply them to real-world experiences. It provides students with an experiential learning opportunity not achievable within the classroom setting.
Does my program have a placement component?
All diploma programs offered through First Nations Technical Institute have a placement component except for the First Peoples’ Aviation Technology – Flight program.
Can I complete placement at my regular place of work?
It is a requirement that a diploma stream student complete an unpaid placement. If a student is to complete placement where they work, their placement supervisor must not be a current colleague or supervisor, and students must complete activities not normally associated with their paid role.
Who is responsible for matching me with a placement?
Students are responsible for researching, contacting and confirming a placement site; however, the field placement coordinator is available to assist with this process. When choosing a placement agency, the student must keep their personal and professional goals in mind. Students must submit a written placement plan to the field placement coordinator for approval in advance. This plan must include details of their placement (e.g., name of agency and address, site supervisor name and contact information, activities in which the student will engage in and how the placement relates to the curriculum of their specific program). Approval must be given prior to commencement of placement.
What costs are associated with placement, and who covers them?
Students are responsible for all costs associated with field placement. Fees may include items such as the following: Canadian Police Information Center criminal reference check/police vulnerable sectors check, immunization-communicable disease screening, transportation (to and from placement), uniforms, and other materials as may be required.
What happens if I have a criminal record?
Students must be aware that finding an agency who will accept a student with a criminal record will be difficult. Certain criminal convictions may limit participation in placement and program completion may not be possible. Community agencies differ in the types of criminal convictions they are willing to accept. If you have a criminal record and want more information regarding obtaining a pardon you may visit the following website: www.pardons.org.
What if I did not pass a course?
All courses within a diploma program must be successfully completed before students can begin their field placement.
What documentation is required prior to the start of my field placement?
FNTI requires students to submit a written placement plan to their field placement coordinator in advance of placement hours. The submission must be approved before a student’s hours begin. It is the responsibility of the student to confirm with their field placement agency any additional documentation/certifications that may be required prior to beginning their field placement. These may include, but are not limited to:
Canadian Police Information Center (CPIC) criminal reference check/vulnerable sector screening
Online health and safety training module
Communicable diseases screening form
Standard First Aid with CPR
Workplace Violence and Harassment
I’ve had a criminal reference check completed in the past; do I need a new one?
Your criminal reference check must be dated within 6 months of the start of your placement.
May I begin my placement before I’ve completed all courses?
No. All courses in your program curriculum must be successfully completed prior to the start of field placement.
How many hours must I complete for placement?
Placement hours will vary depending on the program:
Early Childhood Education – approximately 550 hours over two years
Mental Health and Addiction Worker – approximately 378 hours over the fourth
Social Service Worker – approximately 420 hours over the fourth semester
I work full time; how can I complete a placement as well?
Adjustments to work and family schedules are sometimes necessary in order to complete the required field placement component of a college diploma program. Field placements generally occur in the last semester of a program and while out on placement, students usually do not have any classes to attend. Placements typically occur within a scheduled number of weeks with the expectation that students are completing their weekly placement hours in a similar fashion to that of a full-time job. For those students that are working full time, some options to consider are: leaves of absence and use of vacation time, modified work hours to free up time for placement, and working out a schedule with the placement agency supervisor so that placement hours fit with a student’s work schedule (for example, completing placement in the evenings and weekends if a student works 9-5 Mon-Fri). FNTI understands the time and effort students put into making placement arrangements and is proud of students’ dedication to their education.
Will learners still carry out field placements while studying virtually?
Work placements within many of our programs are mandated learning outcomes, therefore they must be completed in order to meet graduation requirements; in most cases, this is linked back to the professions' advocacy/accreditation bodies.
FNTI relies on the advice of government directives, public health guidelines and specific community regulations; there are a number of field placement options available to students to complete their requirements virtually should the need arise.
In some cases, seminar and courses that accompany placements may occur in the evenings.
FNTI will evaluate how to best support our students through work placement as the timing nears and social needs are set for that time frame.